Nasrallah: We're facing crucial hours in maritime border talks

The Hezbollah leader stressed that a deal will only be considered as final once it is actually signed in Naqoura.

 Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gives a televised speech, in this screengrab taken from Al-Manar TV footage, Lebanon October 18, 2021. (photo credit: AL-MANAR TV/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gives a televised speech, in this screengrab taken from Al-Manar TV footage, Lebanon October 18, 2021.
(photo credit: AL-MANAR TV/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned that Lebanon is facing "crucial hours" in the efforts to reach a deal concerning the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel, in a speech on Tuesday evening.

"We, as the Lebanese people, are waiting for the official position to be announced by His Excellency the President [Michel Aoun], and we are waiting for the official position by the enemy government (Israel), even if it was said that the head of the enemy government announced his approval, but the important thing is what will happen tomorrow because it was said that there is a cabinet meeting," said Nasrallah.

The Hezbollah leader stressed that once the delegations from both countries go to sign the agreement in Naqoura, then it can be said that an understanding has been reached.

Nasrallah expresses concerns with Israeli disagreements on deal

Nasrallah additionally expressed concerns with arguments taking place between Israeli politicians concerning the deal.

 Floating gas production rig, Energean Power (credit: ENERGEAN) Floating gas production rig, Energean Power (credit: ENERGEAN)

"We have all followed, during the past months and weeks, the contradictory statements in the enemy entity, sharp divisions and mutual insults. We do not know what will happen tomorrow and the day after," said Nasrallah. "We must be careful, because there are those who can change their minds at every moment, and these were difficult and tough negotiations."

Members of the opposition, including opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, have lambasted Prime Minister Yair Lapid for the pending agreement concerning the maritime border with Lebanon, claiming that the prime minister is giving up a strategic asset that belongs to Israel.

Netanyahu has additionally threatened in recent statements not to respect the deal and to nullify it if he forms a coalition after the elections.

Hezbollah says it will 'remain vigilant'

Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah will "remain vigilant" until Aoun announces the official Lebanese position concerning the negotiations.

The Hezbollah leader added that the movement will act according to the position of the Lebanese state.

"We have nothing to do with the demarcation, and if you ask me where our sea is, I will tell you that our sea extends to Gaza," said Nasrallah.

In recent months, Nasrallah had issued threats to attack Israeli targets if Israel began pumping gas from the Karish rig off the coast of northern Israel before a deal was signed with Lebanon. On Sunday, the Energean company began testing procedures at the rig, pumping gas from the Israeli shore to the rig. It is as of yet unclear when Israel will begin extracting gas from the rig.

In his speech on Tuesday, Nasrallah stressed that this ultimatum was still in effect until a deal was signed in Naqoura, but added that he was not using the speech to issue threats.

"Tonight we will neither threaten nor make promises, tonight we are calm and without slogans, tonight is about joy, and I was careful in every word I say so that the enemy does not benefit from any word," said the Hezbollah leader.